It takes a lot of guts to blog. I mean, you throw your feelings, art, and/or opinions into cyber space and wait to see who will like, dislike, follow, unfollow, get completely pissed off, or, perhaps worst of all, ignore.
During my tween and teenage years, Ronnie James Dio was one of my favorite artists. I loved Dio, I related to Dio, I worshipped Dio! I would come home from a day of being teased at school for liking rock music and I would blast Ronnie James Dio’s music, and suddenly all their words would seem so small.
Growing up without a father wasn’t always easy. I know this is going to sound silly, but in my messed up teenaged mind, sometimes I let Dio fill that void.
Dio died of cancer in 2010. He was 65 years old. When I heard this news, I was saddened that the world had lost such a great artist, but I also felt like I had lost a friend. And with this loss, a chapter in my life had closed.
Now, so many years later, my son has been assigned to play bass on one of Dio’s songs for his School of Rock Show. Obviously, this song, “Rainbow in the Dark” has been playing in our house on a fairly regular basis.
It was after one of my son’s practice sessions, that my daughter, in all her 6 year old wisdom and sagacity, said,
“If that guy Dio was alive today… I’d thank him for the best song ever.”
Am I proud that my daughter appreciates heavy metal music? Of course. Am I glad that my daughter seems to have inherited my love for Ronnie James Dio? You bet I am!
But this goes so far beyond a genre and an artist. This is about the gift of music. This is about the gift of a song.
New Years can be a great time of the year. Whether you look back at the year that past with fond recollections, or whether the last year was not all you hoped it would be, there is always the prospect of a fresh start with high hopes for the year to come.
However, like Pandora’s Box, and other things that carry the prospect of hope, there is also a certain amount of evil abound. For me, that evil can be summed up with three simple words: New Years Eve.
Back when I was young and single, in the days following Christmas, my mind would be largely occupied by a single thought: “What would be THEEE THING to do on New Years Eve?” The answer was always the same, and that would be to find some small intimate party with my closest friends and spend the entire night there. The problem was that, most years, such parties did not exist. The second most reasonable option then, was to go to sleep at 9 o’ clock and pray that I did not wake up until well past noon the next day. However, for a hardcore scenester like myself, this option presented the possibility that I would miss out on something LEGEND (wait for it) ARY.So once again, another option put to the wayside.
All this added up to me being out on the streets, following leads on parties that I was not quite invited to, or trying to charm my way into overcrowded venues for free, as I set off on a long, and often unsuccessful quest for the ultimate New Years Eve. It also inspired me to write this somewhat dismal account of what New Years means to me.
1. Everyone is entirely too drunk entirely too early
2. All my favorite clubs are charging an exorbitant fee at the door and are overrun by a bridge and tunnel crowd
3. Everyone expects something magical to happen and often it doesn’t
4. The TV selection is obnoxious and everyone at Times Square looks freezing cold and like they have to pee really badly
5. Resolutions are for suckers
6.If you are a parent, you could enjoy an expensive night out with your significant other,(not to mention what you had to pay the babysitter to work on…gasp…New Years Eve!!!) only to wake up at 7 AM with a throbbing head and a toddler who thinks it would be fun to start off the new year by pouncing on your bed.
7. If you are single you are weighing your options on the whole midnight kiss thing…and it does not look promising
8.The news has slowed to a halt and now all journalists remind us that we have spent the year looking at Miley Cyrus, Justin Beiber, and the Kardashians and using acronyms much too often.
9. The prospect of going back to work seems more hideous than ever.
10. 358 days till Christmas
All of this leads me to my current state of contentment which is staying at home with my husband and two children who are easily pleased by party poppers, funny hats, cookies, and a movie on New Years Day. So I guess I did get that intimate party with my closest friends after all…and I’m gonna stay there…all night.
With sincere hopes that you fare better than I ever have on New Years Eve… May the odds be ever in your favor.
- Facing the new year truths (trinidadexpress.com)
- Times Square On New Year’s Eve Is The World’s Biggest Rip-Off (huffingtonpost.com)
- 2014 New Years Eve Party Inspiration From The Experts (eventsbyl.wordpress.com)
- New Year’s Eve – Make it a good’un! (onthebeach.co.uk)
- Make Believe Midnight: Ringing in the New Year with Children (odysseythroughnebraska.wordpress.com)
The other day I wrote a blog about my neighbors. Well it got me thinking about all the unusual neighbors I’ve had in the past, but none were quite so noteworthy as when I lived next door to the Hell’s Angels club house in New York City’s East Village.
Usually when I tell people this, their eyebrows raise in amazement thinking I would now regal them with tales of drunken debauchery and violence, but actually, the Hell’s Angels kept very much to themselves, and the block I lived on was probably the safest one in Manhattan, although we rarely saw a cop car drive down.
I never went in the clubhouse itself. It probably would not have been too hard for me to procure an invitation, but even for a rocker chick like myself, I think that was way beyond the kind of trouble I was looking for although I may have ended up sipping tea and commenting on their decor. I did know of one girl who dated a Hells’ Angel (friend of a friend) who got through the relationship uneventfully enough although, as you may well imagine, the break up was not so copacetic.
Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when, one winter night, as I was leaving my apartment I ran into my old friend Brendan who I used to hang with when I was a teenager in Brooklyn. I hadn’t seen him for years. Turns out he was prospecting for the Hells Angels and one of the tasks they designated to him was to keep a fire going outside of the clubhouse throughout the blisteringly cold New York night, even though I hardly think they were about to roast marshmallows.
I don’t really remember how I ended up on the back of Brendan’s motorcycle, but I do remember screaming and holding on for dear life as we headed down the streets of New York doing 35. Brendan finally ended up depositing me at my then favorite local dive and haunt “The Continental”. I gracefully (I hope) dismounted from the bike securing myself a reputation as a badass biker babe which lasted approximately one week and a burn on my calf that lasted approximately three.
Another time, I was hanging out in my apartment listening to music and minding my own business when I heard Aerosmith piping in quite loudly through my open windows. Normally I am tolerant of noise, as long as I am not trying to sleep and I love Aerosmith. However, this particular music was so loud, it completely drowned out the music I was trying to listen to, not to mention, it was post-Permanent Vacation Aerosmith.
I decided there would be no real harm in, very politely asking whoever was playing the music to please turn it down.
When I got out the door, who should I see but THE BIGGEST Hells Angel I have ever seen, on the THE BIGGEST bike I had ever seen with THE BIGGEST ghetto blaster I had ever seem. He was fixing me with his best “Go ahead, make my day” glare as Steven Tyler wailed on about how pink was his favorite color.
Well, as you can imagine, I returned his glare with my sweetest smile, looked both ways as if checking for a friend who, most assuredly was not coming, and returned to the sanctuary of my apartment where I decided that, yes, Aerosmith would be a good musical selection for the afternoon.
- On the Market: Artisanal Porridge Comes to Park Slope; Hell’s Angels Battle to Keep EV Clubhouse; Cameron Diaz Buys In Walker Tower (observer.com)
- Aerosmith Discography (mademan.com)
- Aerosmith Frontman Steven Tyler at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in NYC (autoevolution.com)
- Despite Outlaw Image, Hells Angels Sue Often (nytimes.com)
- Hells Angels ‘prospect’ denies shooting boy, 11 (adelaidenow.com.au)
Oh leather pants, oh leather pants
Oh how you mock me so
Hot pants and halter tops
I guess you all must go
As a lover of heavy metal music, there are some lyrics so full of cheese, that they make me cringe to the point that they are banned, even from my shower repertoire, no matter how catchy the beat. But I suppose it’s par for the course. I mean, when pigeon holed by the topics of sex drugs and rock n’ roll, where do you really go from there?
Well, for instance you could improvise on the whole sex thing by incorporating prostitutes. I think Bon Jovi is one who really did that idea justice. That’s right, before Bon Jovi was out saving the world, he came up with this little gem. (Sorry to include all lyrics, but the whole thing was so precious I felt like it needed to be featured in all it’s glory.)
Well I wake up this morning I rolled out of bed
I felt like a dog who’s been kicked in the head
Checked out my mail there was letter that read
Love for sale, love for sale
I picked up the phone I called everyone I could
I let my fingers do the walking through the telephone book
You can’t catch a fish if you got the hook
(what does this even mean??-Ed.)
Love for sale, love for sale
Send up a signal throw me a line
Somebody explain ” this funny Valentine”
It might not be legal but it sure ain’t a crime
I’m one step from crazy and two steps behind
I called Lt. Columbo from my TV set
I’ve tried the Dating Game I haven’t found her yet
I’m hoping that she’s looking like a Penthouse Pet
Love for sale, love for sale
But, you know, what’s really great is the foreign metal bands. How better to convey thoughts of sex drugs and rock n’ roll then by doing so in broken English. Here is Loudness, doing one better for the prostitutes
You’ll soon realize
I am destined
to burn in your cage
Don’t tell me you’re dreamin’
Look back Sexy woman
Sure you can’t see anything
Kiss me baby Please
Feel me right now!!
Wanna take you away and hold you tight
I am destined to burn in your cage
Get ready for this
Don’t tell me you’re dreamin’
(oooh who’s this lucky lady?-Ed.)
Other great examples of broken English metal include this gem by the Scorpions. Before they had a profound enough sense of the language to write a meaningful song like “Wind of Change” they came up with this work of art.
We’d like to introduce tonight
The Kings of a brandnew style
They are hungry to play
We’d like to introduce tonight
The new heavy steam rock style
Quite different and strange
Allright, how do you feel tonight
Get up to see and cry the name of the
Steam right with hands and feet tonight
Get up to see and cry and they will begin –
Here they are!
Steam rock fever,
Screaming rock believers
Steamrock fever in L.A.
But while we are talking cheesy heavy metal lyrics, I must give an honorable mention to the kings of cheese, Kiss. I probably could not single out one lyric from these silver tongued masters of perverted poetry but Keats might even roll over in his grave when Gene Simmons says “I wanna put my log in your fireplace” in that oldie but goodie “Burn Bitch Burn”. Not to mention the amount of psychological investigation into whether it is indeed possible to rock n’ roll all night and party every day.
Before moving on to other genres of metal, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t feature this profound piece by Def Leppard:
Make love like a man
I’m a man
That’s what I am, uh!
All you girls ’round the world
Lookin’ for a guy who’s a real go getter
Every guy grab a girl
Love her like a man, make her feel a lot better
You want it – I’m the one
I got it – I’m Mr. Fun
You need it – I’m Captain Cool, yeah
Come get it – And I’ve come for you C’mon
Don’t call me Gigolo
Don’t call me Cassanova
Just call me on the phone
And baby come on over
When you need someone
When you need someone to. . .
Make love like a man
I’m a man
(really? Because the last time I looked you were looking a bit Anne Wilson-esque. thanks for the clarification-Ed.)
And it just blows my mind that after a whole career of deliberately giving us nothing but cheese, Alice Cooper runs out of ideas, gets down to serious business, and manages to give us the real gouda with this anti-drug rant:
Hey bro, take it slow
You ain’t livin’ in a video
You’re flying low with a high velocity
No doubt, you’re stressin’ out
That ain’t what rock n’ roll’s about
Get off that one way trip down lonely street
But hey, these are the glam bands. They’re supposed to be cheesy right? So along comes the thrash bands like Metallica and Manowar and they’re going to put the meat back in metal. They’re going to write about war and fighting and give us metal intellectuals a little more bang for our bucks when it comes to lyrics. Right? So here comes Metallica with their first shot at redemption:
Bang your head against the stage
Like you never did before
Make it ring Make it bleed
Make it really sore
Um…. so let’s try Manowar…
Manowar living on the road
When we’re in town speakers explode
We don’t attract wimps ’cause we’re too loud
Just true metal people that’s Manowar’s crowd
No? Mercyful Fate??
Upon a cross a nun will be hanged
She will be raped by an evil man
Knock spikes through her hands
Things will come she won’t understand
You’re a nun you haven’t had no fun
Living your life as virgin queen
I’m gonna change it and I’ll get it done
Tomorrow you won’t be a virgin queen
So…Venom… I mean surely they would…
“Get in our way, we’re going to take your life/Kick in your face and rape and murder your wife.”
So for the grandaddy of them all, let’s pay a little visit to the hard rock spectrum of things and a little band that all of us like to affectionately (or maybe not so much) think of as Van Hagar. I guess we were all a bit annoyed when Eddie Van Halen dropped saucy lead singer David Lee Roth in honor of the Red Rocker, the man who couldn’t drive 55. That’s why it was such surprising news to me that Hagar actually left the band after Eddie Van Halen made him stoop down to a point where he had to lay down these lyrics. Geesh! Talk about cringing when you’re in the shower, imagine how Sammy felt when he had to record tracks on this one in the studio. Ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with the lyrics to “Humans Being”. Today, please take time to meaningfully reflect….
There is just enough Christ in me
To make me feel almost guilty
Is that why God made us bleed
To make us see we’re Humans Being?
You break this, I’ll break all that
You break my balls with all your crap
Spread your disease like lemmings breeding
That’s what makes us Humans Being
(Eddie Van Halen proves that despite his past he is still a man of God, (or almost), who can cuss like a 16 year old heavy metal bad boy…wow.-Ed.)
- Heavy Metal fans Tend Inferiority? (technologyka.wordpress.com)
- New Study Says Metalheads Don’t Like Religion And Love Being Unique (metalinjection.net)
- This Map Shows Which Countries Dominate The World Of Heavy Metal (businessinsider.com)
- Manowar on Grooveshark (grooveshark.com)
- Is Heavy Rock Guilty Of The Worst Lyrics Ever…? The Case For The Prosecution (everyrecordtellsastory.com)
- My Changing Perspective of Heavy Metal (notoriousgit.wordpress.com)
- Research: Influence of Musics (keeravisualexpression3.wordpress.com)
- Heavy Metal is still Heavy Metal (egonzalez44.wordpress.com)
- From Skeptic to Supporter (egonzalez44.wordpress.com)
For too long I have been on a rant about schooling, and though it’s been fun and will probably continue later in the week, I feel the need to get a bit naughty, to get back in touch with my roots, to let my hair down, a veritable cleansing of the palate if you will.
- Hi My Name Is (Insert Name Here) And I’m A Slut (shamelesslyguiltless.wordpress.com)
- 24 Signs She’s A Slut (thoughtcatalog.com)
- You’re Not A Feminist If You Call Halloween Costumes “Slutty” (thoughtcatalog.com)
- The Philadelphia Slut Walk is tomorrow!! (polyskeptic.com)
- 18 Women On “What I Was Doing When I Was Called A Slut” (thoughtcatalog.com)
- Open Post: Hosted By My Kind Of Translation (dlisted.com)
Neil Elterman was my first boyfriend when I was in 6th grade. Neil Elterman was the first boy I smoked pot with, Neil Elterman was the first boy I listened to Metallica with, Neil Elterman was the first boy who broke my heart. And, as you can imagine, at 12 years old, there were a lot of other firsts (but no, not that one).
- Metallica on Grooveshark (grooveshark.com)
So here’s an existential question for the ages…Did you ever have a friend and you’ve known them for some time, maybe even a few years, and then you begin to notice that they are absolutely bat s*** crazy? Well, the question is, did they become crazy while you knew them or were they always crazy and you just realized this as you got to know them better?
That is something to ponder as I briefly describe my friendship with Evangeline.
1. I meet Evangeline and she is the coolest girl in the world, full stop, hands down, real girl’s night out girl, very down to earth and also, the lead singer in my band.
2. Evangeline meets Lee. Now we all expect our friends to change a bit when they fall in love. But this is the kind of love where the two of them are so intertwined that you have to constantly remind them that there are other people in the world.
3. Evangeline marries Lee, leaves the band and the two of them become hardcore hippies, we’re talking no shaving, no killing of animals no matter how small, love, peace and all that good stuff and they move to a commune in Pennsylvania presumably never to be heard from again.
4. Even though the two of them now reside in what I imagine as a hut in the swamps of Florida where they probably send Lee out in a lightening storm with a key and a kite to get internet service, Evangeline tracks me down through Facebook where we resume a virtual friendship which can be described as spotty at best. That is to say, she will write once in a while, I will write back, and it is likely that I will not hear from her again for months on end.
5. The other day, after not hearing from Evangeline for months, I receive the following email from her. (I did edit some of the irrelevant stuff out, but other than that, it is cut and paste from the internet).
I am growing and changing very much @ this time in my life. I’ve been really searching for who I am and what I want. I would have never thought this would happen now, but I need to remember who I am. Through many moments of remembering and forgetting, I kept thinking of you and all of the amazing times we had together, a very freeing feeling!!!! So again, thank you for your friendship, you are an inspiration in my life Marissa.
Since I can be obsessive, I’ve been trying to obsess on things that are good for me. So for the last few months I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation in the most exotic locations, mainly at the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. Inner peace is a gift so precious, no one can give it to you or buy it for you or even lend it to you. It is a rare gem we all need to find on our own. So I give thanks to the universe and the Goddess energy for helping to heal my busy mind and be connected to LOVE.
<awkward silence> <crickets>
Huh? How do I respond to this? How are you really, Evangeline? Everything alright with you and Lee? I got a really cool pair of jeans the other day? Does anyone else out there think this odd or am I just not growing with the new age times? Anyway, that’s all from me. Until I next become inspired…
- The Vipers, or the Story of a Friendship that Died (gmercier4388.wordpress.com)
- Be A Great Friend (brijayoma.wordpress.com)
- You’ve Lost Weight Since I’ve Seen You Last (crazedintuition.com)
Inspired by the recently released Rolling Stones’ top 10 metal albums of the 80s, I am chiming in. This was a difficult decision, but keep in mind, I tried to keep it to one album per band and tried to categorize the music that if felt could only be considered heavy metal, i.e. not hard rock or thrash. I welcome your opinions if you feel like I left any out. By the way, hope you don’t mind, mine is more of a top 12. Just couldn’t whittle it down!
12. Too Fast For Love- Motley Crue
I know the musical integrity may not be there for some, but to me, this was definitely a defining album in 80s metal. And besides, I was 13 years old and Vince Neil’s crotch was on the cover so…
11. Stay Hungry – Twisted Sister
Once again, probably not among the tops for people with refined music tastes but raw, rebellious, and definitely the definition of all the was 80’s heavy metal. How do you want to live your life?
Right before they sold out, went rap, and Joe Elliot turned into Nancy Wilson, Def Leppard proved that they had one more in them, quite possibly their best.
9. Balls to the Wall – Accept
Who cares if Udo Dirkschneider resembled a little frog? Who cares if Accept disappeared into virtual obscurity following the release of this album? Who cares if we really can’t understand the words and there’s some German dude in leather panties on the front cover? This album rocked!
8. Killers – Iron Maiden
I know what your thinking but I loved Paul Dianno. I think he was an awesome singer with a sexy, bluesy voice that gave Iron Maiden a punk edge. There’s more Iron Maiden to come so don’t get your panties in a bunch. I allowed two Iron Maiden because I almost feel like Bruce Iron Maiden and Paul Iron Maiden are two different bands. Also, I almost creamed my jeans when i heard Murders in the Rue Morgue for the first time.
7. Holy Diver – Dio
Shout out and big old two fingered salute (and I don’t mean two middle fingers) to Ronnie James Dio, nuff said.
6. Blizzard of Ozz – Ozzy Osbourne
Premier album from Ozzy Osbourne solo with the late great Randy Rhodes. Great songs plus Ozzy on the cover doing something appropriately deranged and blasphemous.
5. Love At First Sting – Scorpions
Hats off the another great German midget with a pair of lungs. Klaus Meine may not have looked the part but he sure was a romantic guy.
4. Ace of Spades – Motorhead
Part of the inspiration for me writing this list was the fact that the Rolling Stones article made no mention of Motorhead. Don’t be dissing on my boy Lemmy! Fourth and probably the pinnacle of all Motorhead albums (although for me it was a toss up between this and Orgasmatron), and yes, it was released in 1980.
3. Defenders of the Faith – Judas Priest
Barely beating out Screaming for Vengeance in the fight to the finish. True it does not have the Hellion/ Electric Eye medley but I think it’s a better album through and through. Also, there’s something about this album that makes me wish I was a teenager on a hot summer night.
2. Number of the Beast
Ha! I told you… I told you I was gonna add it and see, I did!! Bruce Dickinson joins the band, Steve Harris finds his muse and writes the album he always wanted to write.
1. Ride the Lightening – Metallica
I know many would argue that Metallica’s career became more refined after this album, oh yeah, after James Hetfield got singing lessons, and they started making videos and Lars became an asshole, and they publicly spewed their differences in Some Kind of Monster, and they started caring about their paychecks and forgetting that is was “All About the Kids” and of course, who could forget poor Cliff. Just give me good old fashioned raw Metallica, please. I’ll take this one, thanks.
- Iron Maiden’s never really changed, so neither has the band’s importance (indyweek.com)
- IRON MAIDEN Tops BILLBOARD’s ‘Hot Tours’ Chart Once Again (blabbermouth.net)
- IRON MAIDEN’s Powerslave Album Showcased In Mars Attacks Classic Albums Column (bravewords.com)
- CRYSTAL EYES Complete “Killer” New Album (bravewords.com)